Rice Salad with Sushi Inspired Flavors- A Great Use for Leftovers

I love rice salads for quick summer suppers or side dishes.  They are filling enough to be satisfying, but not too heavy for a hot day.  With temperatures in the triple digits on a consistent basis here this summer, cold suppers really hit the spot.

The dressing for this recipe is based on the sushi ginger dressing recipe from the Quinoa Salad in Canning for a New Generation.  I used some vegetables from the fridge that are commonly found in sushi rolls- cucumber and avocado- and paired them with the complimentary flavors of green onion, wasabi, and nori.  I used leftover cold salmon as the protein, but smoked salmon, shrimp, lump crabmeat, and tuna steaks would all work nicely in this recipe. Feel free to adjust the protein and vegetables around to use what you have on hand.  Shredded carrots, thinly sliced cabbage, and edamame would all be great additions.

For the Dressing:

•1/3 cup pickling liquid from a jar of sushi ginger

•1/3 cup minced sushi ginger

•1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

•2 Tablespoons tamari, or soy sauce

•3/4 cup olive oil

•a small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

•Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together the pickling liquid from the sushi ginger, the minced ginger, and Dijon mustard.  Add the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking to combine.  Stir in the cilantro.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Set aside

•3 cups cooked rice, cooled

•2 leftover cooked salmon fillets, cubed (or use 1- 1 1/2 cups shrimp, crabmeat, etc.)

•1 cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

•4 green onions, sliced

•1 avocado, cubed

•1 teaspoon wasabi, or more, to taste

•4 sheets nori, cut into 1 inch squares

Add the rice, salmon, cucumber, green onions, avocado, and wasabi to the bowl with the dressing.  Toss very gently with a spatula taking care not to smash the avocados.  Add the nori and toss gently to combine.  Chill for at least an hour before serving to let flavors combine.

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